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I have a unique file management system requirement to allow documents to be available to vendors. It will be used on a PC and not a mobile device.

There will always be three levels, and the directories are created elsewhere:

  1. /NewProjectXYZ/
  2. /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/
  3. /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/Fixtures/

The root directory may have many (thousands) folders (instead of /NewProjectXYZ/, it could be /Children's Hospital/). The second level will only have few (1 to 10) folders (in addition to Plumbing/, there might also be Electrical/. Similarly, the third level will only have few (1 to 10) folders (in addition to Fixtures/, there might also be Pipe/.

If the user is viewing "Fixtures", all documents in /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/Fixtures/, /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/, and /NewProjectXYZ/ are displayed in a single list.

While viewing "Fixtures", the user needs to be able to add documents. I am thinking that they will always be added to the highest directory (i.e. /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/Fixtures/), and then some means to move the document to a lower level if desired is available (i.e. Project, Trade, and Sub-Trade). Or maybe before uploading the document, the user must select which level?

Also, while viewing "Fixtures", the user needs to be able to delete documents. I am thinking either a "delete" icon next to each document, or check-boxes with a "Delete" global button (thoughts which is preferred?).

Now the part I am very uncertain about. The user must be able to copy a document from one directory to another, or to move or copy a document from one project to another.

One option is to utilize right mouse click to cut or copy the document, and to then use right mouse click to paste the document. I am hesitant as currently the application doesn't use right mouse clicks for any use. Also, since the root directory has many directories in it for each individual project (maybe thousands), I will need a better method (type ahead?) to select the project to start from, and not just display a huge tree.

Any recommendations on how this should be implemented for the best user experience?

EDIT. Replies to Monomeeth's comment:

  1. Do you have screenshots/mockups you can share of how this looks / would work?
    • No, but put together the below for one possible implementation.
  2. Is the user interface platform independent (i.e. will this work on Windows, Mac OS X, etc) or is it only for a particular platform?
    • Platform independent using browser-based technology
  3. Can you expand on why there will always be three levels?
    • User will add a project (level 1), a trade they are bidding (level 2), and vendors they require to support that trade (level 3) in another part of the application. Level 3 is the only section that is viewed.
  4. As for the root level, will all vendors have access to all directories, or are there restrictions based on some sort of criteria? If there are restrictions, do all vendors 'see' the directories that they don't have access to?
    • Vendor will see all documents in their specific trade (i.e. pipe), all documents in the parent directory (i.e. Plumbing) but not sibling directories (i.e. Electrical), and all documents in the project directory (i.e. NewProjectXYZ) but not sibling directories (i.e. Children's Hospital). It is kinda backwards in that root directories (within a given project) are more inclusive.
  5. Finally, is the user interface browser-based or software specific?
    • See your question #2.

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  • Some questions for you. Do you have screenshots/mockups you can share of how this looks / would work? Is the user interface platform independent (i.e. will this work on Windows, Mac OS X, etc) or is it only for a particular platform? Can you expand on why there will always be three levels? As for the root level, will all vendors have access to all directories, or are there restrictions based on some sort of criteria? If there are restrictions, do all vendors 'see' the directories that they don't have access to? Finally, is the user interface browser-based or software specific? – Monomeeth Mar 15 '16 at 22:51
  • @Monomeeth Thank you for your comment. Please see my reply to your questions in my edited original post. – user1032531 Mar 16 '16 at 4:05
  • Sorry, unexpectedly been away for a few days. Have you settled on a solution yet? If not, sorry to do this again, but I need you to clarify a couple more aspects of your question. What do you mean by: If the user is viewing "Fixtures", all documents in /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/Fixtures/, /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/, and /NewProjectXYZ/ are displayed in a single list. Also, I may be missing something, but that last sentence seems to contradict your answer to my 3rd question earlier, specifically where you say: Level 3 is the only section that is viewed. – Monomeeth Mar 21 '16 at 4:57
  • Also, your question states in part: While viewing "Fixtures", the user needs to be able to add documents. I am thinking that they will always be added to the highest directory (i.e. /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/Fixtures/)... However, isn't /NewProjectXYZ/Plumbing/Fixtures/ the 2nd lowest directory (or the 3rd level down from the top), rather than the highest directory? – Monomeeth Mar 21 '16 at 5:00

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